Airstreaming, Alpacas, and Sunsets….
Along with Dear Friends
We are on what I think of as our second Maiden Voyage of RV life — You can read about our First Maiden Voyage here. This time, the plan was to stay gone a bit longer than two weeks. We were lucky to score a site close to the beach, at the charming Turtle Rock Resort RV Park in Gold Beach, Oregon. Ten days of relaxation, the sound of crashing waves at night, and beautiful sunsets. It sounded delightful and just what we needed.
It is a long drive to our destination from Anacortes, WA, so we took our sweet time and we meandered down the I-5 corridor to get there. Our first night on the road we stopped at the Midway RV Park in Centralia, WA. The name of the park is appropriate, meaning it is midway between Seattle and Portland. We arrived late afternoon, after skirting our way through Everett to Olympia traffic, just as we arrived it started to rain. Staff greeted us kindly at check-in, she knew we were newbies so she was full of helpful information. We found our spot and glided in like we knew what we were doing, hooked up, and snapped a few photos.
Since we were only there for the night we did not want to unhook, luckily stores and restaurants were within a one-mile walk because we were tired and hungry. We were drenched by the time we made it to the restaurant, but after dinner the skies cleared and we had a leisurely walk back.
The next morning we splurged and ate at Judy’s Country Kitchen, voted Best Breakfast, conveniently located next to the RV park. After a delicious breakfast, we scurried to I-5. Our next stop was just south of Portland, Oregon, close to McMinnville in Amity, Oregon. I was filled with excited anticipation for our next stop, a Harvest Host (affiliate link, get 15% off membership) — Wings and Prayer Alpaca Farm.
It was a beautiful drive, filled with sunshine as we wound our way through the Oregon countryside. We had never really explored this part of Oregon and I enjoyed the drive through the vast farmlands and green hills.
We arrived shortly before 4:00 pm. As newbies, backing up is still a bit of trial and error for us and our host gave thoughtful instructions and guidance with a touch of a lesson as we settled into our location for the evening. Once we settled in, I immediately grabbed my camera to venture out and explore. Our hosts gave a brief run down of the farm and then off to work they went while we stretched our legs and wondered around the property. They also raise Great Pyrenees dogs, whose sole focus in life is guarding cattle and what an amazing job they were doing.
After a restful night sleep, we hurried through our morning routine because we were going to take an Alpaca for a walk. They offer an Alpaca Trek experience on their farm for guests and I signed us up. We got a brief lesson, charmed our Alpaca with some goodies, then trekked up the hill with our host as our guide. She shared their story of how they came to be Alpaca farmers, how it grew, and shared some tidbits of Alpaca information. It was a delightful way to start our day and get exercise having Mondae (the Alpaca) by my side.
We thanked our hosts and bid them farewell as we continued on our journey. Our hosts recommended we continue on Hwy 99 for a more scenic view until we get to Eugene and they were right, it was beautiful.
Our next stop was Meadows Estate Winery. Located in the Umpqua Valley, the scenery was lovely. When we arrived our host greeted us and then once we settled in we ventured inside for some wine tasting and a little history on the winery and the area. We then grabbed our cameras and ventured out before sunset to snap a few photos. It was a quiet and peaceful place to rest our heads after a days travel.
Thanks to the advice from others in some Facebook groups and our winery host, we opted to take Hwy 38 to reach the Oregon Coast, an RV friendly highway over and through the mountainous range. What a gorgeous scenic drive. I had bought a GoPro to capture some of scenery we pass through, but I get so wrapped up in the beauty that I forget to get it ready. Sometimes as a photographer, you have to remember to enjoy the moment, not just focus on that ‘shot.’
After a leisurely drive through the mountains and down Hwy 101 on the Oregon Coast, we arrived at our final destination — Turtle Rock Resort in Gold Beach, Oregon. A nice breeze greeted us as we found our site and settled in.
The next day, we gave Betty Jo a little sprucing up after her long journey and went into town for much needed provisions. Good friends were joining us for a few days and were due to arrive in late afternoon and I promised them dinner. They arrived safely and while they set-up, I started the preparation for dinner. After all, a day of traveling makes you hangry (hungry and angry) and tired, so a hot meal and good conversation was in order.
High on our lists of things to do was the Redwoods. Communing with nature, listening to the trees converse, and just being with good friends was what our souls needed after a heavy year of not really being around people.
Tip: For non-photographers, when traveling with photographers, expect a lot of stops for “oh, I have to get that shot.” Photographers are spur-of-the-moment artists, we see it, we stop, we capture.
After a few wonderful days, some great meals, and scenic locations we had to part ways, our friends packed up and headed back to Washington. It was a sad parting, we have been friends for over thirty years and now that we are sort of moving away, it will make a long friendship a little bit further away.
After ten days at Turtle Rock RV Park in Gold Beach, we headed up to Bay Point Landing RV Resort in Coos Bay, Oregon. I fell in love with this RV Park, had I known, I would have booked us there longer. It would be a great place to kick bank and just relax. Instead we only a few days and so much to see.
The mornings were gorgeous but then fog would roll in and hang out along the coastline. One day we traveled to see the sand dunes, but between the fog and other factors we didn’t really experience the sand dunes. Oh, well, maybe another time.
Another day, we did a scenic drive along HWY 540 aka Cape Arago HWY. It was a foggy day so we couldn’t see much off the coast, but still it was a stunning drive. Our next stop was Bandon, OR. To get to HWY 101 via Hwy 540 we discovered 7 Devils Road in Charleston. The sign said it was a “scenic” drive, at first it wasn’t much of a road but then suddenly it was more like you were in heaven, such stunning scenery from on top of the world. It was a winding road with curves and twists, fun to drive with the right vehicle, and I was sure glad we weren’t towing.
After lunch in Bandon, we drove along the coast on Beach Loop Drive to see Face Rock State Scenic Outlook and Devil’s Kitchen. By then, the fog was further offshore so our view expanded. But our favorite location and a “must see” on this day was Shore Acres State Park on Hwy 540.
Perched on craggy sandstone cliffs high above the ocean, Shore Acres State Park celebrates two sorts of beauty: ruggedly organic and artfully constructed. — Oregon State Parks
A unique blend of cragged rocks and rugged nature mixed beautifully with a landscaped garden and grassy area. There are quite a few trails in the area to try and add to your hiking experience. The scenery was nothing short of sensational, a photographer or even a non-photographer’s heaven.
As a newbie, we are still learning how to plan our trips. I depend heavily on reviews and suggestions from groups I belong too. I am learning how to mix locations, utilizing Harvest Hosts during travel days, then finding a park where we can stay a little longer and have the use of full hook-ups. We have found we do better traveling when we have a location that we stay at least a week to actually enjoy the location, also to have downtime and days for chores — like laundry and grocery shopping.
From Alpacas to sunsets, the beginning of our adventure, our second Maiden Voyage, was off to a good start.